I am fully awakened this morning by HH bounding up the stairs with all the grace of a vaguely lethargic camel.
With heaters still running in spite of a gloriously sunshiney Saturday, we had spent a somewhat restless night in our muggy and airless bedroom, HH being averse to all movement of air except what may come from a blow heater since October of last year. I am a tangle of diaphoretic limbs atop the duvet.
“Good morning, sunshine,” he says cheerfully, making his way to the window and drawing the curtain. Then, after a good five months of waiting, I finally hear the sound my sweaty heart has longed to hear: The turn of the window latch followed by a blessedly cool drift of fresh morning air.
HH makes his way to my side of the bed. “Scoot over,” he says, “you’ll feel the breeze better on my side.”
He is right. I bask in the slightly damp coolness of morning, delighting in the fact I actually have to pull the sheet up against the chill. It is glorious. We lay with eyes closed listening to the first tentative notes of the dawn chorus.
“What bird is that?” he asks, assuming I will know. I am no proper ornithologist, but I do know my chaffinch from my magpie.
I listen to the sweet, complex chirp emanating from a tree outside our window. “Sounds like a blackbird,” I say. They are not much to look at, but the blackbird has a spectacular song.
We listen contemplatively to the blackbird and the dog-whistle of kites, until their melody is gradually joined by an intricate symphony of new chirps and whistles. The dawn chorus has begun.
“What about those?” he asks.
I hear robins, blue tits, and great tits. I stifle a smile and state authoritatively, “Oh, those are just robins.” If I am a liar, I am also a sensible girl who knows better than to set myself up for any sophomoric double entendre shenanigans at this early hour. HH may be all but a saint, but, well, he’s still a guy.
Silence, during which time I sneak a peek at him to find out if my lie has found its mark.
“Wow,” he says, opening his eyes under a knitted brow. “Robins sure do have complicated songs…”
“Yeah,” I say, rolling away from him and smiling to myself, “they sure do.” I wonder abstractly whether HH will Google birdsong and discover my deception, but before I can work myself into a lather over it, I am lulled back to sleep by the sounds of tittering beyond the window. Robins, you know. Nothing but robins…
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- feature photo: Shutterstock
- blue tits: sharpsingle.com